Singaporean youths have been shortchanged by the government and it’s about time to revise the NS allowance. First, we look at PAP’s salary.
PAP claims they have sacrificed but ministerial salaries are benchmarked against the median income of the top 1,000 earners with a 40% ‘discount’. A new minister currently earns $1.1 million. To put this figure into perspective, it is actually an increase of 3,600% since 1965 when a minister’s annual salary was $30,000. This excludes about $200,000 in MP allowance.
When NS was introduced in 1967, the allowance for a recruit was $40. Fast forward 48 years, it has risen 1,200% to $480. The government appears to have benchmarked NS allowance to the lowest wages with perhaps also a 40% discount?
The PAP should not recognise its ‘sacrifice’ with financial rewards while recognising NS sacrifices with peanuts.
If NS is as important as PAP claims, it’s about time the government applies the same PAP’s financial yardstick to NS pay ie peg to median salary of top 1,000 earner aged 23 less 40%.
A reasonable allowance in high cost Singapore would be around $1,500 to $2,000. Even then, there exists an element of sacrifice – the loss of more than 2 years of private sector experience compared to non NS peers such as FTs.
If PAP wants to continue paying slave NS allowance, it should improve productivity in training and reduce the 2-year stint to 6 months. It should not make use of an increased headcount to justify having 20 paper generals in the army.
A lot of time is wasted – spent waiting due to poor planning. The completion of NS in 6 months is a possibility if not for PAP’s ulterior motive in having a 2-year stint.
At about $500, the NS allowance is a slap in the face, zero dignity if you were to ask one PAP MP. If NSFs are protecting one of the world’s most expensive real estate, the ‘protection fee’ should not come cheap.
Is it not fair to benchmark NS pay against the median salary of top 1,000 earners aged 23 with a 40% ‘discount’ to signify the sacrifice as what PAP has done for ministerial salary?